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  1. #1
    Storm's Avatar
    Storm is offline Pro-Bowler
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    Steelers - pioneers of steroid use?

    Check this out (from sports.yahoo.com):

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett says he used steroids when he starred as a linebacker in the early 1980s, and claims the Pittsburgh Steelers' use of the drugs during Super Bowl championship seasons in the 1970s brought steroids into vogue around the NFL.

    Haslett, the Steelers' defensive coordinator from 1997-99, made the comments Wednesday in Hawaii, where the league is holding its annual meeting. They were published in Thursday's editions of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Los Angeles Times.

    Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who ran the team during the 1970s, denied the Steelers pioneered steroid use in the NFL.

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    Haslett played in Buffalo from 1979 to 1985, and finished his career in 1987 with the New York Jets. He said he used steroids for one season early in his career.

    ``It started, really, in Pittsburgh. They got an advantage on a lot of football teams. They were so much stronger (in the) '70s, late '70s, early '80s,' Haslett said. ``They're the ones who kind of started it.'

    Rooney rejected Haslett's claims, noting the Steelers were known for smaller, quicker linemen who ran trap plays that required they be agile, not bulky.

    ``This is totally false when he says it started with the Steelers in the '70s,' Rooney told the Post-Gazette. ``(Then-coach) Chuck Noll was totally against it. He looked into it, examined it, talked to people. Haslett, maybe it affected his mind.

    ``Chuck Noll told the players, 'Hey, this stuff doesn't do you any good. If you just do the work, lift, things like that, you'll be all right,' Rooney said.

    At least one Steelers player from that era has admitted using steroids. Steve Courson, a part-time starter on Pittsburgh's last Super Bowl title team in 1979, has blamed a heart condition on steroid use. Courson has also said that teammates such as Jack Ham and Jack Lambert adamantly refused to use them.

    Haslett estimated half the league's players, and all its linemen, took steroids in the 1980s before they were banned by the league. The league began testing for steroids in 1987, but players weren't suspended for using them until 1989. The league started using random, year-round drug testing in 1990.

    Haslett starred at Avalon High School near Pittsburgh as a 160-pound quarterback, but played defensive end and weighed about 230 pounds in college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Haslett said he gained that weight by working out, but began using steroids shortly after he was drafted by the Bills in 1979.

    ``If you didn't (take steroids) you weren't as strong as everybody else, you weren't as fast as everybody else,' Haslett said. ``That's the only reason to do it. Everybody's looking for a competitive edge.'

    Haslett weighed about 250 pounds when he played in the NFL.

    ``Everybody wanted an advantage, so you tried it; I tried it. I mean, I tried it, everybody tried it,' Haslett said.

    Haslett cited the side effects of steroids as the reason he quit.

    ``I didn't think it was very good for you. I was hyper all the time. Got bloated, a fat face,' Haslett said. ``I'll tell you one thing about steroids, if you take them you still have to eat right and work your ass off. If you take them and you don't do anything, that doesn't do anything for you.'

  2. #2
    Del Rio Guest

    Steelers - pioneers of steroid use?

    I have a feeling a lot of players in that era in sports in general were juiced. It wasn't illegal in the NFL at that time. It deffinetly makes you think.

    One thing I have been tossing around in regards to records and steroid use and such.........can you equate the use of roids back then to the extreemly advanced training programs today? I mean today's trainers have much more knowledge then back then. Does it make it a wash strictly in regards to the record books?

  3. #3
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Steelers - pioneers of steroid use?

    "Del Rio" wrote:
    I have a feeling a lot of players in that era in sports in general were juiced. It wasn't illegal in the NFL at that time. It deffinetly makes you think.

    One thing I have been tossing around in regards to records and steroid use and such.........can you equate the use of roids back then to the extreemly advanced training programs today? I mean today's trainers have much more knowledge then back then. Does it make it a wash strictly in regards to the record books?
    Good question, but cheating is cheating. I know it wasn't illegal back then but it is still not right to enhance with a drug as opposed to hard work. It isn't fair that the pioneers took 3 months to travel from one point to the next when we can now jump in an airplane and get there in 2 hours. That is progress(technology).

    It is cheating in the sense that steroids on top of natural enhancement and progression, is an unfair advantage.

    It is easier if you can compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges but it is harder to do when one of those oranges is on the juice. If the orange just tastes better as the years go on, that is progress or mental and physical evolution but if that orange was juiced in addition to the progress, that is a second variable.

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